Rebuilding church 40 years after fire

Washington (DC) church plans to rebuild its sanctuary 40 years after a fire destroyed it:

Church Street church could rise from 1970 ashes

by David Alpert in “GreaterGreaterWashington”

The St. Thomas Episcopal Church at 18th and Church Streets, NW hopes to build a new church on its property, which was destroyed by arson in 1970. The property is currently a park.

The church was burned on August 24, 1970 and, according to a presentation from St. Thomas, the shell later ordered razed.

After the fire, St. Thomas’s attendance declined by half. But the remaining members kept the congregation alive, and especially with their openness to gays and lesbians, grew substantially in the 1990s. In 2005, the growing congregation began exploring the possibility of rebuilding the church.

In 2008, they selected parishioner and Swiss-educated architect Matthew Jarvis. Jarvis studied under Swiss architect Peter Zumthor before moving here and working for David Jameson Architects, where he worked on many glassy and rectangular buildings.

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